A beloved Louisiana civil rights activist was found dead in the trunk of her car, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Police are investigating the mysterious death of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, as a homicide, but have not yet found suspects or a motive.
“Right now we are investigating this to the fullest and waiting for new information to develop,” Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. told PEOPLE.
Preliminary autopsy results determined that Roberts-Joseph died from “traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation,” according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.
When police found her body, her car was parked just three and a half miles from her home.
“The Baton Rouge Police Department joins the community in mourning the loss of Ms. Sadie Roberts-Joseph. Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace in the community,” the police department wrote on their Facebook page.
The community activist founded an African American history museum in Baton Rouge as well as the non-profit Community Against Drugs, and Violence and an annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival.
“She was such a big part of the community,” said Coppola. “The community is of course devastated by this and we are just searching for answers as far as who may be responsible for this. She was an amazing lady and just a great community figure.”
Hours before her death, Roberts-Joseph stopped by her sister’s house to cook cornbread in her over because hers had stopped working.
“The bread is still there,” Beatrice Johnson told the Associated Press. “She never came back to get it.”